A country-made gun used to kill 23-year-old software trainee engineer Anjali Rathour on Wednesday morning had been procured by the accused to kill another person Rathour was allegedly in a relationship with, police said Saturday.
The accused, 24-year-old BBA graduate Ashwini Yadav, also allegedly tried to kill himself with the same weapon after shooting Rathour, he told police on Saturday. “The accused had decided to ask the victim about the other person in her life. He had brought the country-made pistol from his village. During interrogation, Yadav admitted that he had thought of killing that person. However, when Rathour refused to tell him the person’s name, he took out the pistol. Rathour started running and eventually sat with her hands covering her head. He followed her and pulled the trigger,” said Arun Kumar Singh, SP (City), Gautam Buddha Nagar.
The accused was arrested from his relative’s residence in UP’s Mainpuri district Friday. At 6.34 am on Wednesday, CCTV cameras on the ground floor of Shatabdi Rail Vihar Residential Society in Noida, Sector 62 captured Rathour’s murder. The 20-second video footage shows a person being chased by another wearing a backpack, his arms outstretched.
The person being chased takes cover, falls to the floor and is not visible since the attacker’s back is turned towards the camera. The cameras showed the time of the recording as 6.34 am. The police Saturday said Yadav tried to kill himself with the same gun. “In the CCTV footage, which was not clear, it seemed like the attacker was using a phone to call someone. But during interrogation, he claimed he wanted to use the same pistol to commit suicide. The bullet got stuck and he could not pull the trigger,” Singh said.
Rathour and Yadav came in touch with each other at Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar in September 2012. While Yadav was pursuing a BBA course, Rathour was studying electronics and communication engineering. “He claims they became close friends in December 2012. He failed in BBA first-year and, as a result, both graduated from the university in 2016. Her course was for four years while his was for three,” Singh said.
After graduating, Rathour joined a private firm as a trainee engineer while Yadav started working at a garment store in Lajpat Nagar. In January this year, the store shut down and Yadav went back to his village in Etawah. The night before she was shot dead, Rathour had met Yadav on the ground floor of the housing society between 8 pm and 10 pm, police said.
“After Yadav went back to his village, Rathour was not keen on keeping in touch with him. Since January, they had had several conversations about this. In April, too, he came to the capital a couple of times and they spoke over the phone. On May 30, the girl called him here and they had a long conversation. Finally, she asked him to let her think about it overnight,” Singh said.
Police investigation revealed that Rathour had called Yadav on Wednesday morning, following which he reached her housing society. “So far, we thought he had called her at 6.30 am but the victim had called him at 6.05 am. Yadav entered the society at 6.30 am, called her to tell her that he had reached. At 6.34 am, as is shown in the CCTV footage, the incident took place. The victim had turned him down,” Singh said.